So, How Was Your Day?
Bowl of cereal. Banana. Large pot of English Breakfast tea.
Grilled fish. Some salad. Petit fours.
Cereal Bar (I remember looking at some canapés but not being able to actually reach them).
My alarm went off at 6am. My agenda is jam packed today. Whack on some beauty balm (good to keep the wrinkles at bay), some lip balm and quickly dry my hair. Stroll across the road and present to our local Belvedere team. Conduct a comparative tasting with 10 different vodkas, all before 10am. Quick hop, skip, and a jump into a taxi to present to the USBG (United States Bartenders’ Guild) on ‘All things Rye’. A common complaint made by serious bartenders is that all vodka is tasteless and anonymous - so it’s really important to me that I demonstrate that not all vodkas are created equal.
Next stop a ‘ladies who lunch’ event with 20 wonderful and successful ladies of Chicago. I walk them through how to make some very simple cocktails that taste great. Straight after the lunch we head back to the hotel for a quick recharge of my phone battery while I also take a couple of conference calls. I’m currently planning Belvedere activations at this year’s Manhattan Cocktail Classic and Tales of the Cocktail, both large scale and incredible events. Exciting plans afoot!
Next stop is a filming with my lovely friend Amanda Puck, host of Dish It!, and she’s chosen the awesome Tavernita as our location. I can’t wait to go back. A quick change back at the hotel and then we’re off to Bernard’s Bar for a Belvedere cocktail hour hosted by Chris LaMorte and JC Steinbrunner. The drinks and company are great and I’m sorry to say goodbye to some really interesting and amusing attendees. Back to the Wit Hotel to kick back with the Belvedere team at the roof top bar at the hotel. It is simply breathtaking. Finally, I nip back to my room to put on some flat shoes and pop out for a last minute cocktail with a friend. Eventually, I crawl back to my room and jump into bed. The party is still going on the roof, but I fall asleep singing along to the music the DJ is playing.
Three Last Things…
1. What’s up with that smoking bod? With all your travel and boozy tastings…you must know something we don’t.
Why thank you! The traveling and the ‘entertaining’ can take their toll so I try and work out as much as I can when I’m on the road. I either head to the hotel gym or go for a run in the morning - which is a great way to get to see a bit of the city I’m in.
2. So we hear you are THE woman behind the making of Belvedere…how long does it take to perfect a new blend?
Generally speaking, we spend the first 6 months of the year perfecting the blends, and the last 6 month of the year finishing the macerations, so I’m working on them for the full year. It is wonderful to be able to work with fresh ingredients through the maceration process, and while it does take some time to perfect our flavours, we feel that this is time worth spending for the incredibly fresh and natural result that we get.
3. Tomorrow Willy Wonka hires you to come up with a signature vodka for him - what concoction do you dream up?
I’m loving all things aromatic right now, so I’d probably say cardamom or hibiscus!
Claire splits her time between NYC, Poland, and London. Her magical mixing skills have appeared on Conan, Chelsea Lately and The Today Show. belvederevodka.com